The father of Reza Barati has blamed Immigration Minister Scott Morrison for the Iranian asylum seeker’s death in the Manus Island detention centre during a riot in February.
Speaking from an internet cafe in Ilam city in northern Iran, Torab Barati said his family wants his 23-year-old son’s killer bought to justice.
However, he said ultimate responsibility for Barati’s death lies with Mr Morrison.
A Senate inquiry found the cause of the riot to be a failure to process asylum seeker claims, stating the violence was “eminently foreseeable”.
It also found that the Australian Government failed in its duty to protect asylum seekers, including Barati.
Mr Morrison accused Labor and the Greens of using the report “as a blatant attempt to whitewash their own failures in government”.
However, Mr Barati said the minister needed to take responsibility.
“I do not accept this claim because my son’s transfer was done under this Government’s supervision,” he told the PM program.
“Those many thousands of migrants that came to Australia under the previous government are now in Australia. He was sent to the PNG (Papua New Guinea) camp under this man’s supervision.”
Two men are currently being held for trial for Barati’s murder and Papua New Guinean police say they are still looking for three more suspects.
Barati family calls for compensation from Government
Mr Barati said the family believed they should be compensated for the aspiring architect’s death.
“They should punish my son’s murderers and I should be compensated for my son’s death,” he said.
“We have become mental, including my wife, my daughter, my young son, even myself and my mother. All of us have become mental.”
“It was his son’s dream to settle in Melbourne and become an architect. Instead, he was returned to Iran in a coffin.”
Mr Barati said 10 months after the riots, his wife is still not coping.
“I swear to god she is going mental, she is tears day and night. She has become totally dysfunctional,” he said.
“It was the Prime Minister’s decision that my son be sent to Papua New Guinea. He should pay my son’s rights, whatever they are.”
Refugee advocate Ian Rintoul called on the Government to provide Barati’s family compensation.
“It’s very telling… clearly the impact on the family is very, very obvious. And there’s the scale of the grief, and the concern at losing a son so needlessly just stands out markedly,” Mr Rintoul said.
“I think it’s also very compelling – the recognition that the Minister is responsible, that Manus Island is run by the Australian Government.
“It’s a point being made by a number of international authorities, but I think it’s clearly recognised by Reza’s family that the responsibility for Reza’s death lies with the Minister and with the Australian Government.”
A spokesman for Mr Morrison issued a statement stating that Mr Barati’s death was tragic, but offered no direct response to the accountability and compensation issues raised by Torab Berati.